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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  January 12, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EST

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recognized for five minutes. mr. kucinich: it's said that one out of every three american homeowners is under water with their mortgage. meaning that they owe more on their mortgages than the house in which they live is worth. one out of every three americans. we know that this year, there could be at least eight million americans actually losing their homes. we know there's 15 million americans unemployed. there's been record numbers of foreclosures and also record numbers of business failures. there's ban credit freeze.
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-- there's been a credit freeze. some say we have a jobless recovery. or a cashless recovery if you're an investor waiting for your dividends, because dividends aren't in at the moment. perhaps even a homeless recovery, where people are losing their homes, losing their jobs, losing the quality of their investments, and we're saying the economy is recoverering. what's going on in america? what's going on is the banks have taken enormous power in the last few years and they've received that power from the federal government in the form of bailouts. i voted against the bailouts. i don't think the government should be picking winners and losers in the economy and i also don't think the government should serve as an engine to take the wealth of the nation and accelerate it upwards
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because that's exactly what's happened. whether it's been a republican or democrat administration, that process of slerlings is wealth is continuing. now u.s. banking companies have been the beneficiaries of unprecedented government money in the form of multiple, ongoing, taxpayer-financed, federal government bailouts and subsidies, virtually unlimited access to money at near zero rates of interest. federal purchases of impaired assets, low cost loans, open-ended guarantees, all in the name of restoring normalcy to u.s. financial markets. in the coming days, banks are expected to begin paying out substantial bonuses to top executives. the total amounts rival the payouts at the peak of the real
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estate bubble in 2007. they are set against the core commitment of policy to strengthen the underlying health of the banking system by enabling banks to recapitalize. the bonuses being paid out could and should be directed primarily toward enhancing the capital base of the banking system. banks could also use the profits to deal with unrecognized losses from real estate transactions and other imprudent investments to reduce outside fees charged to struggling consumers, to increase lending to small and medium-sized businesses, and for a variety of other purposes that would provide struggling americans with a more vibrant and beneficial financial system. today, banks are earning outsized profit, not by lending or investing in the american prosperity, but by trading
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interest-free dollars taken from the federal reserve for other financial assets in the u.s. and around the world and rather than use these profits to enhance the capital to banks taken out in the form of -- rather than use the profits to enhance the capital of the banks, they're being taken out in the form of bonuses to benefit certain individuals. corporate banking executives who have been more lucky than smart. in order to staunch that leakage of corporate profits from bank reserves and shareholder capital, i've introduced h.r. 4414, the responsible banking act, that would tax banks for the windfall bonuses they paid to their management. and the tax would be at 75%. we cannot let banks crush businesses, we cannot let banks challenge this government with our own tax dollars.
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we need broad reform in our financial system and i'll be addressing that at another time. but one element of that reform must be to impose some fiscal discipline onto these banks who think they can get away with giving themselves mega bonuses while the rest of american is suffering and starved for capital, support h.r. 3414. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur, for five minutes. the chair recognizes mr. moran for five minutes. the chair recognizes mr. conaway from texas for phi minutes. -- for five minutes. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from georgia, mr.
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gingrey, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. gingrey: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank our leader for allowing me to spend this time this evening and talk to our colleagues about some very important matters dealing with health care reform and the pledge of transparency. that will be the focus of the hour, mr. speaker. i have a number of colleagues that will be joining me who are part of an organization within the house of representatives called the g.o.p. doctors' caucus. we have about 13 members, mr. speaker, of the g.o.p. doctors' caucus. most of whom are medical doctors, we have an optometrist, we have a clinical psychologist, ph.d., and we have a couple of dental doctors
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in the caucus, mr. speaker, and for the last year, literally, in the entire year of 2009, i think my colleagues on both sides of the aisle know that this g.o.p. doctors' caucus has been working diligently, working diligently to try to have some input in regard to health care reform, making some suggestions, writing and co-sponsoring comprehensive legislation such as h.r. 3400, an alternative approach. members of this caucus, mr. speaker, introducing individual bills on certain subject matter that the president has pledged that would be in the health care bill and yet as we stand here today at the 11th hour, literally, of merging these two versions from the house and senate, nothing about health care reform of the medical
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liability system which the president pledged to do the president made that pledge in chicago at the annual meeting of the american medical association. an association that represents maybe 1/5, 20%, of the doctors across this country that has literally given their endorsement to the president's bill, but asked in return for some relief of the reimbursement under medicare to the physicians elimination of this flawed formula that year after year after year forces the doctors to take these deep cuts so that they can't -- literally can't afford to continue to see medicare patients and of course the request, mr. speaker, at that particular meeting back in chicago probably last may or june of 2009 that there be some
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meaningful medical liability tort reform. the c.b.o., in fact, estimated that that would save $54 billion. just that one issue would save $54 billion. the c.b.o. says over 10 years, mr. speaker, i respectfully suggest that's a most conservative estimate on their part. i think it would be $54 billion each and every year over the next 10 years. but in any regard, i am blessed tonight to be joined by a number of the members of the g.o.p. doctors' caucus, and we're going to talk about the main theme of tonight, and that is the issue of transparency. and i want to get into that in just a second. nothing could be more important, particularly at this point, this 11th hour, when a bill is about to be presented, i say presented, really i mean, mr. speaker, forced upon the
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435 members of this body and the 100 in the other body when the american people don't want it. more about that later. i would like, mr. speaker, with your approval to take just a moment because a tragedy occurred, i was just notified by email just a few minutes before i started, that in my district, the 11th of georgia, northwest georgia, cobb county, one of its townships, kennesaw, georgia, a part of that 119 district of nevert georgia, there was a tragic, tragic shooting in my district in the city of kennesaw today where two people lost their lives and three additional, mr. speaker, are in critical condition. i would like to ask my colleagues on the floor tonight to join me for just a moment of silence to remember the families of the deceased and
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the victims that are in critical condition and their families as well and we'll take jaust moment of silence before we continue. mr. speaker, i thank you for allowing us to do that and i thank my colleagues for joining me in their prayers for those in my district that have been killed and injured. well, we want to talk, as i say, a little bit about the issue of transparency. this is what's in the news oright now. this is a huge concern, the lack of transparency, in regard to the health reform bill, we -- we are going to give you a second opinion today about that and inteed we're going to roll the tape on health care double speak as we look at these slides.
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mr. speaker, let me just start off by saying, and calling the attention of my colleagues to this first slide, where is the transparency. our president, then candidate, senator obama, in january, 2008, on the campaign trail, and we all know what a great communicator president obama, and then senator -- candidate obama was, the best speaker, the best communicator, i think, that this country has possibly seen since the great communicator himself, ronald reagan. but here is what candidate obama said, january of 2008. talking about health care. i would put my plan forward, and i would welcome input. but these negotiations would be on c-span so the public will be
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part of the conversation and will see the choices that are being made. senator/candidate o-- obama made that speech in january of 2008, almost two years ago. continuing on the campaign trail, candidate barack obama said about eight months laettner august of 2008, as the primaries were getting hot and heavy, we will have the health care negotiations telecloudy skiesed -- televised on c-span so we can see who are making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or insurance companies. that was at an obama town hall meeting in, as i say, august of 2008.
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once again, candidate obama, now president obama, saying it's time for the american people to see what's going on. see it with their own eyes. hear it with their own ears. use their own common sense to figure out, to connect the dots, see why one group or another group might be supporting something that on the surface seems almost incredulous that they would. almost incredulous that they would. so i would say to president obama today, as i said to him, or at least through the television said, -- through the television set, i said to him, right on, mr. candidate. you're absolutely right. the american people need to know. they need to have this opportunity of transparency. where is the transparency? where is it?
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president obama, and he went on, of course we all know now, ran a great campaign and beat a tough opponent in the primary, and a war hero in the general election, certainly well deserved victory for president obama, and then shortly after the inauguration, january 21, 2009, about a year ago, president barack obama said this. . my administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. we will work together to ensure a system of transparency, public participation and collaboration, openness will strengthen our democracy and will promote efficiency and effectiveness in government. amen, brother. i agree with you, mr. president.
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unfortunately, we're not seeing it. we're not seeing it. such a disappointment for the american people. well, here wer colleagues on both sides of the aisle. here we are. we don't know exactly what is going on. we members on the republican side, even leadership in the house and senate on the republican side, ranking members on the committees of jurisdictions, they aren't meeting with anybody. they may be named as conferees at some point if we have a conference. my colleagues may talk about that. maybe we than won't have a conference. it's one thing to shut members of congress out and not allow them to represent their people, almost 50% of the people are
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shut out by virtue of not including the minority party in any deliberations henceforth and to this point and to the final deliberations. and there are some serious issues, mr. speaker, that need tobacco resolved, that need to be resolved db to be resolved, that need to be resolved. the american people want to know. they want the opportunity. i'm sure my wife is not the only spouse in this united states house of representatives who loves to watch c-span at all hours of the day and night because they are so unbiased and cut to the chase and treat people fairly and take questions from republicans, democrats and independents and it's no nonsense, it's just the facts, ma'am, sir.
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c-span tell advises many of the things we do in this chamber and in the committee process. brian lamb who has been with c-span, probably president and c.e.o. who has been there 20 years wrote a letter just recently to the president of the united states. and mr. speaker, here's the letter from c-span to the house and senate leadership. c-span requests that you open all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings, to electronic media coverage. so the american people can see, can connect the dots, can understand about the louisiana purchase, can understand about the nebraska compromise or is it the corn husker compromise in which it seems to a lot of
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people out there on main street that maybe nebraska got the corn and everybody else got the husks. that's why we need openness and such. and that's why brian lamb and c-span are making this request and that's what we're here to talk about tonight. i'm pleased, mr. speaker, to have some of my colleagues in the g.o.p. doctors' caucus with us. i don't know what order they arrived on the floor, but i want to yield to each of them as much time as they desire to have a little colloquy and talk about this issue because it is so important and indeed, we are at the 11th hour. let me first recognize my good friend from texas, classmate, fellow ob-gyn physician, we
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probably delivered 8,000 babies between us. i had 19 years and he had 18 years. so i call from the doctor from texas, dr. michael burgess. mr. burgess: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank him for bringing this hour. i think it is important to talk about this issue. it is important to talk about opening the doors, opening the windows on this congress, on this health care legislation. we have seen this bill now take several forms over the past 12 months since the president was inaugurated. and certainly, the bill that we had in committee and dr. gingrey and i serve on the committee on energy and commerce and we had this bill for several days in what's called the markup. that was covered on c-span and people could got to see members attempt to amend the bill.
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not many of those amendments were accepted unfortunately, but nevertheless, it was an open process and henry waxman, the chairman of that committee, to his credit, did allow a relatively lengthy discussion on that legislation. however, when we left for august and went through the very famous august recess and august town halls, we came back to congress, i thought we hit the reset button and rewind button on this legislation, but no such luck. the president came and talked to us and said it was going forward rapidly and no time to lose and stop and study what we had done but to push ahead. between that date, which was the middle of september and the very first part of november, another bill was written, it was a different bill than what we had in the committee.
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it was a different bill than what dr. gingrey and i attempted to work on. it was written in secret and written in the speaker's offices, heavy input from the white house, but none of us saw the bill. none of us republicans, nor, in fact, no democrats who weren't in leadership, who weren't part of this process, this secret process in the speaker's suite, none of them knew what was in this bill. we had a bill come forward and had a very heavy week and the house passed by a very slim margin late on a saturday night in early november. then it goes over to the senate and the same thing. we had the senate health, education, labor, pensions committee mark it up. then they did a bill. and then the final product was
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written in secret, in secret in majority leader reid's office with a heavy hand from the white house and came to the senate floor and was laid out for the senators right before the christmas -- they left for christmas eve. it has been a process that has been draped in cloak and secrecy really since it left the committee process july 31. the american people haven't had a chance to see it, rank and chance to see it. none of us who are the back benchers on both sides of the aisle, none of us had any part in drafting this legislation or carrying or modifying this legislation after it left committee. and that's important to remember. the rules committee met here in the house late into the night. one amendment, one amendment was accepted. famously the one by bart stupak
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from michigan, that dealt with the issue of funding of abortion in the bill. but one amendment out of the many hundreds that were offered during the course of that rules committee. one amendment was made in order. many, many amendments we could talk about that had merit that should have had an airing here on the floor of the house were never even considered. so we have a process that has been cloaked in secrecy and when it came out well, there's going to be some sort of reconciliation process, whether it's a formal conference or a ping-upon match there is going to be some coming together of these two pieces of legislation. why not, at least at this point, open it up and open it up to the c-span cameras. they aren't there with commentary or an editorial, but there with their cameras to show
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the give and take. the president thought this was so important and he wanted show the american people, which members of congress stood with the american people and which stood with the special interests. in fact, i would like to know that very thing myself, but we are prevented from knowing that. now, early in this process, in may or june of this past year, there were several of those special interests that met down at the white house. there were headlines that were made on those days. there were photographs taken. hands that were shean. depreements that were made. $2 trillion in excess has been wrung from our health care system by insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, my a.m.a., the american hospital association, the medical device manufacturers and service employees international union, all of those six groups got together at the white house and gave up. they gave up something to get this bill the momentum it would
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need. but none of that information has then subsequently been made available to us. and thus, you had situations occur such as in the senate finance committee when a senator asked legitimately, well, i thought we could pass this onto the hospitals but they say that wasn't part of the deal struck at the white house. what is that deal? we are the legislators? we should be privy to that very information so when we write the legislation, we can do so with the full knowledge. mr. gingrey: if the gentleman would yield. carrying along that same theme is an example. the big farmer, a lillingness to contribute $80 -- willingness to contribute $80 billion to reduce the cost of the doughnut hole for those who have part b
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prescription drug part and they get in the doughnut hole. the american people need to understand, well what does big farmer get in return for that. the gentleman from texas said the same thing in regard to the american medical association and the 250,000 members of that organization, what effect do they get by endorsing this program? and the american health insurance plans and the american hospital association and on and on and on. aarp, the american association of retired persons that represents 40 million people, you would think when you have a health program in both the house version and senate version that is cutting $500 billion out of the medicare program that has an unfunded liability over the next 75 years of $35 trillion, why in the world would an organization
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who is supporting seniors who depend so much on medicare supporting a program that's going to cut that program to the bone 10% per year over the next 10 years and 17% per year under medicare advantage program? why would that organization -- so, again, these are rhetorical questions. as the gentleman from texas is saying, as the american people and c-span is saying, put some sunshine on this and let people connect the dots and say now i understand it. and i yield back. mr. burgess: the good news is, this is information that we need as legislators and the american people need to see and see whether or not this is good legislation. we have a tool at you're disposal. the tool is called a resolution of inquiry. and it can be filed at the committee level. and it has to be dealt with in 14 legislative days.
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i filed a resolution of inquiry for these documents down at the white house that were arrived at at the white house in may and june. i filed an inquiry. h. res. 983 for anyone who might want to look that up. and our committee on energy and commerce will have 14 legislative days to deal with this. now my expectation is if the committee will quash it. that may be, but at the same time, i feel it is our obligation as dutyful members of the minority to bring to the american people some of these discrepancies. when i filed this, an article that was written in "the hill" the day we left town in december talked about this resolution of inquiry and had some interesting quotes from our chairman, henry waxman, on the resolution. and quoting from an article by
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molly hill -- molly hooper in "the hill" on december 17, mr. waxman said to the extent that there were quoting, if there are such documents, burgess should get them. i think some of the things he wants are not written down and different people have different ideas of what was agreed, waxman told "the hill" on wednesday before congress adjourned. i don't know if anything was written down but the resolution of inquiry is there for a reason and i have been informed by house legislative counsel they can't recall during a resolution of inquiry but this is important stuff. this is one more tool at our disposal and the committee has to act on it. it wilma tur on it in february. the 15 legislative days will take us into february. it will either be forwarded from
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the committee to the floor of the house or be quashed in committee, which i expect will happen, new nevertheless, it is one of the things we should be talking about because it is our obligation to bring some of these things on this discussion. and before anyone criticizes me and says, why didn't you speak up when president bush had a meeting, well, i wasn't here when president bush convened that meeting. i don't recall president bush saying, energy is so important that i will bring all the leaders and i will open it up to c-span. i never proposal missed that. when president obama was running, when they attempted to take over health care and the 500 people that were locked in the room to produce a bill, he thought that was wrong, he
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thought that the bill had, because on it was conceived in secret and should have been conceived in the openness and sunlight of the legislative process. i agree with that. i'm looking forward to the day we elect a president who has the courage to stand up and say to the american people he is going to put 500 doctors in a room and make them come up with a way to pay lawyers and not going to let them come out until they come up with something. i would like to see that happen. i would like to thank the gentleman for bringing this issue up. i yield back to the the gentleman from georgia. mr. gingrey: i would like to yield time to a fellow member of the g.o.p. doctors' caucus, and a member of thinkmy georgia caw us is, a gentleman who makes house calls, dr. paul broun. i dwreeled dr. broun.
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mr. broun: thank you for yielding. i have a 19-year-old son, paul collins broun jr. we call him bear. but collins and his friends have peculiar type of language, they talk about something being bad. to me if it's bad, it's bad. but when they say something is bad, they really mean it's good. well, we've developed a similar kind of language here in the leadership of this house the leadership of the senate, as well as the leadership down pennsylvania avenue at the white house. when they say something is transparent, they mean opaque. when they say that there is a new era of openness that means secrecy. that's exactly what we're seeing. it's unfair to the american public, it's unfair to their representatives, both democrat and republican alike, we have a new speak here in washington.
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it's a new speak where transparency actually mean os paycheck and obscure. where the american people are being kept in the dark. where major policies are being proposed that's going to radically change how health care as well as every aspect of life in america is going to be done. it's not fair. the american people need to stand up and say no. they need to say no to this new speak. they need to say, mr. president, nancy pelosi, madam speaker, harry reid, mr. majority leader, we want openness. we want transparency. we want a new era of open government so that the american people can understand what's going on up here in washington.
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it's absolutely critical that the american people stand up and speak to the leadership and demand something different and that the american people demand that nothing is passed, particularly on health care, that's going to radically change the economic future of our country, it's going to radically change the way people live because anything and everything can be bought under the aegis of health care. i think very probably, we will see way beyond the things that are going on today where government's trying to control what we eat, how we live, what car we drive. mr. gingrey: if the gentleman will yield. mr. speaker, even so, we're talking about 1/6 of the whole economy on this great country of ours and it's going to expand. i yield back to the gentleman.
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mr. broun: this is not about health care it's about the government. it's about government control and government telling people how to live, government making decisions for us. it's taking away our liberty. and we see right now, new york city is trying to control the amount of salt in everybody's food. this health care plan can tell us what kind of car to drive. whether we can own guns or not to protect ourselves in our home. whether we can teach our children the way we as parents believe our children ought to be taught. this is the largest takeover of liberty and freedom this country has ever seen and the american people need to stand up and say no to this obscure, paycheck, secret process that this leadership of this house and the senate across the other
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side of the capitol an the administration, the oba maw administration an the leadership are doing because it is totally, totally against everything that this country stands for. mr. gingrey: if the gentleman will yield for a second, the american people, and i think my colleagues would agree with me, the american people have spoken, haven't they? over 60% of them are vehemently opposed to this government takeover that dr. broun is talking about and i'll make one other comment before yielding back to my friend, and that is, the speaker herself, mr. speaker, you're in her stead in the chair this evening, but the speaker, back in 2006,le on the campaign trail, when your party did indeed take over the majority, mr. speaker, madam speaker, minority leader at the time, said to the american
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people, you give us an opportunity to take back over control, leadership, of this congress this house of representatives, and you will see the most open process you have ever seen. it will be a breath of fresh air that sun will be shining in, the american people will come up and the children will sit around as i'm sworn in and they'll be right there at my knee, i'll be patting them on the head, mr. speaker, she said, and it'll be wonderful. happy days are here again. when you say something like that, and i think my colleagues agree with me, you need to deliver. she could have said, well, you know, here back in 2006 on the campaign trail, these rotten republicans who have run this place for 12 years, you know, they haven't given us a fair shake, man, you give us an opportunity to put us back in we get there, we are going to roll them at every opportunity.
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well, she would have been speaking the truth, mr. speaker, madam speaker would have been speaking the truth. and that's what she should have done because that's what she did. we have no openness here. it's kind of like our current president said, you know, a change you can believe in. mr. speaker, i don't think this is a change the american people were expecting and they certainly don't believe in it. i yield back to my colleagues. mr. broun: thank you for yielding back. you're exactly right, the american people were promised many things by this speaker, transparency, openness, the new era of a clean government with a prosecution of corruption. nothing could be further from the truth. this speaker has not fulfilled those promises to the american people and the american people need to stand up and understand
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that they are really in control . the constitution of the united states, which i believe in, it was originally intended -- it starts off with three powerful words. i have a copy in my pocket, i carry a copy all the time. it starts with three very powerful words, we, the people. this is a government that's supposed to be for the people, by the people, as president lincoln said, and the people have the power, they have the power to demand openness. they have the power to demand transparency and stop this secrecy and stop the veil that's going on up here. in fact, i challenge any democrat in this house or the senate to show me anywhere in many document that we have the authority, constitutionally, to take over the health care
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system. it's not here. i challenge any democrat to show me in the constitution where we have the authority to pass this health care bill that they're taking. they won't find it. it's not there. but the american people can demand from their elected representatives within the house or senate something different than we have today. former u.s. senator everett dirkson said when he feels the heat he sees the light. what he means by that is when the people who elect him or would re-elect him and say, buster, you're headed in the wrong direction. you need to head in a different one. enough people contact him, that's putting heat upon an elected representative. elected representative, if he wants to be he re-elected, will start paying attention to enough of those phone calls and emails and faxes, will see the light. we need to shine the light of day. the american people control the light in their hand, right
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here, today, by getting on the telephone, getting on their emails on their computer, by calling their representatives, by calling their senators, their district offices, or the offices up here and say, no to this government takeover of health care, say no this to obscure, secretive process that nancy pelosi, barack obama, harry reid are undergoing with a yes to openness and transparency. we've been promised by ms. pelosi as well as mr. obama. mr. gingrey: reclaiming my time. i thank the gentleman and i want to continue just a second, introduce our next speaker, the gentleman from tennessee and fellow on gin physician, dr. phil -- fellow ob/gyn physician, dr. phil roe. but the gentleman from georgia is absolutely right.
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as he pulled out his pocket constitution and i'm so proud of him for keeping it with him at all times, because there are things in this bill that we think, mr. speaker, and i think the american people feel, that are unconstitution ool. that are unconstitutional. i hope dr. roe will speak of that. these issues are so important to now, at this 11th hour, to not let the american people see the process for madam speaker and the democrat leadership and the president, i showed you all the quotes at the outsthoast hour, mr. speaker, my colleagues, and you know, he said it, he said it, she said it. it's time to deliver. i yield to my good friend from tennessee. mr. roe: thank you, dr. gingrey, thank you, mr. speaker. a little over a year ago, i stood on this house floor and was sworn in for the first time
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in the 111th congress. one of the proudest days of my life, goes up there with my marriage, the birth of my grandchildren and children, it was a very proud day to be here. i came from a background of local government and in tennessee, where we're from, i was mayor of johnson city, tennessee, and was a city commissioner and local official. in that state, we have a sunshine law, and everything that is discussed is discussed in the open. it cannot be discussed in our local city government wembing five officials. we cannot discuss anything between ourselves unless we're in the open. that means in an open, scheduled meeting that's been published or with a tv camera on. let me tell you what happens, mr. speaker. when that happens you get a better government and you get a better product when the sunshines on it. i'll tell you one of the greatest disappointments i had when i woke up near christmas eve and found that one of the
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senators had voted for a health care bill to exempt a state that other states are going to have to obey on. i was absolutely nauseated with that. it's the most unbelievable thing, it made me ashamed to be a member of this great body and i shouldn't be, i should be proud, every member should be proud and honored to be here. we lecture hamid karzai and afghanistan about corruption, and let him look at our government, he can say, for enough money, you can get anything passed. let me explain what that means for other states and what it means for the state of tennessee. right now, we have 50 less state troopers than we had in 1977, and we have two million more people. .
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without going back to the senate, go straight to the president, we have 15 million more people who have medicaid. with that comes an obligation from the state to pay for that. we don't have any money to pay for it. right now, our colleges do not have one capital improvement project on a single college campus, the university of tennessee and the 26 board of regents. not a library, dormitory or chemistry lab. we can't add any more people to our medicaid and medicare plans. mr. gingrey: some of the teachers in the great volunteer state are having to take furloughs and leaves of absences and that kind of thing. mr. roe: we are in the 1940's in education. here is another unfunded mandate that comes to the state and
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nebraska, the people in nebraska don't have to pay for that. the people of texas do, the people of ohio do, the people of california do, the people of maine do. and this is something that should not be there. when the sun shines on this, this will not happen. that's why it is extremely important for the sun to shine on this process. and you mentioned a moment ago, when you peel the onion back and i have read the house bill and not read the senate bill, if you look at the aarp, there will be an insurance exchangeon this insurance exchange if a company trades on there and this is a private company, the c.e.o. will be limited to a $500,000 salary that is tax deductible. that's fine. if you pay more than that, you have to pay corporate taxes of 35%, plus ordinary income taxes
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of 39%. so the government will get anything over $500,000, 3/4's of it, except if you are the c.e.o. of aarp. he makes $1 million a year. and that's their business. but they are exempted from this bill. they aren't included in bill. and guess what happened to aarp? it endorsed this bill. mr. gingrey: i want this gentleman to go on and on because you have a lot of facts to present. but the fact is that aarp and other organizations wanting to have the people, the opportunity to have for themselves with their eyes, listen to the debate and figure out, aarp, do they make some money off the deal.
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i want to make one point before yielding back to the the gentleman from tennessee, the people of nebraska, former coach of the university of university of nebraska, tom osborne, the governor said we don't want this sweetheart deal. this isn't right. i commend him and the state of nebraska for understanding, mr. speaker, the inequity, the realization that the sweetheart deal for them means crumbs and bacon bits for everybody else. they understand that. and of course, now the senator that was able to effect this deal was saying, let's not rescind the deal but give the deal to everybody and then what's going to be the true cost, instead of $1.2 trillion,
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but $2 trillion. let me yield back to the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: one of the things as you go through this bill, the people who do get it are our seniors. and i saw a lot of senior patients. and as i have gone home and spent a couple of hours meeting with people talking to them one on one. they do get the fact that you're going to take out in the next 10 years, $500 billion out of a medicare plan that doesn't pay its premium. 17 short years from now, it won't pay for the obligation we have now and we are going to add three million seniors in 2011. so that's 35 million more people. let me explain to you three things that will happen. one it will decrease access. you will decrease quality and third, increase the cost for
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seniors. they do understand that. and they understand they're going to pay more for needed care that they won't be able to get. people are beginning to understand what's in this bill. they are pushing back. and just today, as i was leaving home and this has been consistent throughout my district, a poll was published that showed in our district, 1st district of tennessee in the local newspaper, 79% of the people do not want this current legislation, eight of 10. we had better start listening to the people of this nation. they want to be heard. and i'm afraid right now we aren't listening to them. they want meaningful health care reform. every member of this body want meaningful health care reform. we don't want to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. and we should discuss that openly and the camera and the
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light should shine on those discussions. mr. gingrey: i wanted to also to mention a couple of responses from the white house in regard to the present c.e.o. of c-span requesting that negotiations, whatever they are the ping-pong, mini conference or whatever the deal is, for goodness sakes, let the american see it. if they shut us out, let the american people see it. c-span said we'll provide the equipment, and on sunday morning shows. i watch it every sunday. and here's what the press secretary, the honorable robert gibbs said on january 5, 2010, did the president regret making
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that earlier promise to broadcast meetings on c-span? and robert gibbs' response, the president's number one priority is getting a bill through the house and the senate. mr. speaker, we get that. let's get ourselves out of this hole that we have dug and at any cost, at any sweetheart deal, whatever we have to do to get 60 votes, let's pass this darn thing some i ca stand up here at the state of the union and declare victory and do the high-fives and the knuckle to knuckle and however you do that these days and declare victory and for goodness sakes, move on to something else because this is killing us. if and when that happens, it's going to kill the american people. i have great concerns and the american people do as well.
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i yield to my friend from aggetens, georgia. mr. broun: as you and dr. roe were talking about the senate bill and went on, it just occurred to me i spoke earlier about the new speak in the leadership from washington in the house, the senate, as well as in the presidency about how transparency now means being obscured or opaque and openness means being in secret. the deals that are being struck and everything we understand in my language when somebody is threatened, the harm, if they don't go in a certain direction, that's called extortion. and if somebody is offered a
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perk or money or something for going in a particular direction, let's call a bribe if they accept it. mr. speaker, we have a lot of extortion and bribery going on in this process. i repeat that. there's a lot of extortion and bribery going on in this process. and the american people deserve better. the american people deserve more. and they need to stand up and reject this process of secrecy and object security and opaqueness and broken promises and everything that we see going on in this house.
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mr. gingrey: if the gentleman would yield back, because i want to point out to my colleagues, i realize our time is limited, and as we conclude our hour, what the gentleman is talking about in regard to -- he didn't mince any words and i love him for that, he speaks plainly and blunt and you can understand him, unlike the typical politician, but what he's talking about are things like the corn husker kickback. i credit the governor of nebraska who says no, we don't want it. the louisiana purchase, $300,000 to purchase the louisiana vote. that's about $12 million than it cost to purchase the whole louisiana territory in current toll ars. you con, $100 illinois for --
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uconn. gator aid, 800,000 seniors in florida get to keep their medicare advantage. what about the other 10.2 million seniors in the rest of the country, the 175,000 in my district, the 11th of georgia? what happens to them? they get pushed under the bus. that's what is happening to them. not right. well, here's what the american people think. here's what they think. and i know the president knows this and i know the democratic majority knows this and i know that's why they want to pass this thing in the dark of night and don't want c pan looking in or republicans looking in or american people looking in. they want to get out of the hole and get out of town. obama's health care marks hit
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new low, 54% disapprove. and 36 approve. and his approval rating when it was 61%, let's fast forward on this slide to january of 2010 and we're talking about 46%. scary time for the majority party and president and the american people. mr. speaker, we hear this expression all the time, mr. president said it himself, it's time to press the reset button in dealing with the russian president putin. time to reach out with an unclemped fist to ahmadinejad, thrp dictator in iran who is
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trying to develop a nuclear weapon and reaching out with an open hand. it is time to push the reset button with kim jung il in north korea. well, mr. speaker, i suggest this time it's time to push the reset button with the american people and give them a fair shake and be honest and tell them what is in this bill, this 2,500 pages they don't understand. c-span is trying to give them the opportunity, shine the light of day on this process. that's what it's all about. that's what the madam speaker promised and the president promised and i yield a few more minutes to whatever time is remaining to dr. phil roe. mr. roe: i think what the american people want is to trust
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transparency. the people have to trust us for us to govern and can't trust us if they don't know what's going on. i know, mr. speaker, i went home to the holidays and they said what's going on. and i told them, you know as much as i do, because we're in the dark just as you are and that's not the way it ought to be. and i yield back. mr. gingrey: i thank the gentleman from tennessee and thank the gentleman from texas and the great state of georgia. mr. speaker, we thank all for the opportunity, the members of the g.o.p. doctors' caucus to explain to our colleagues on both sides of the aisle what the issues are. we did it in a fairway and did it in a way that is not a personal attack on any individual, any people member of this body or any member of the administration. we are asking the american people to give a fair chake. with that, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> address the house for the hour. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, for 60 minutes. mr. burgess: i thank the speaker. and, mr. speaker, i'd like to continue, much as we've done over this past hour, talking about this same issue, the health care bill that is now before the house and senate even though none of us have seen the finished product. what has happened on the issue of transparency over these past several weeks since the house adjourned in the middle of december. i'm going to talk a little bit more about the resolution of inquiry because i believe that is an important tool that is available to the minority members of the house and i think it's a tool that we need to use,
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a tool that we need to exercise in order to get the american people the information that they are going to need to make up their minds about this bill. it's time for -- we'll talk about some of the structural issues, some of the procedural issues that still are yet to occur if this bill indeed passes and is signed into law. what are the ramifications thereof? when will things happen? what will occur at the level -- as federal agency at the department of health and human services? but i thought first it might be useful just to do a brief recap of where we have been this past year. most of us know it has been not quite a year since the inauguration took place here in january of 2009. it was a historic day, a record number of people came and stood to watch the inauguration and to hear the speeches that occurred that day. we had a very spirited campaign during the fall, we had the
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appearance for the first time of some rather stark economic news that hit the -- that hit the headlines and perhaps dictated some of the course of the campaign and certainly dictated some of the course of the very early legislative process in this body. i will tell you as someone who watched the campaign of 2008 for the president and someone who watched that very closely and was very interested in the health care policy aspects of that campaign i was frankly surprised when the campaign came to a conclusion and the votes were counted and the president won, i was surprised that there was not a bill that was almost ready to come to either the senate finance committee or one of the committees of jurisdiction on the house side. i rather expected that to be the senate finance committee because in october of 2008 senator bachus, chairman of the senate finance committee, convened
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several stakeholders over in the library of congress and the members briefing room there, had a day-long session and took testimony and began for all the world to look like he was crafting a health care bill, producing a paper shortly thereafter that looked like it was going to be a health care bill, so after the election i thought that we would see relatively quickly the introduction of at least some draft language to what this health care bill was going to -- what form it was going to take. now that the election was over. we all remember the election, senator mccain had his ideas on health care, we might come back to those in just a moment because some of that is -- we're back to the future now with some of those same tax issues that are now being raised by the democrats as a means to pay for the democratic health care bill. they're talking about using some of the same procedures that senator mccain was talking about during the fall of 2008. so that's a little bit of irony
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when they spent so much money blasting senator -- the presidential canned cate on the republican side over his a-- candidate on the republican side over his approach to health care. we heard president obama's approach. he said there was going to be a mandate to cover children, there was not going to be an employer mandate, nor would there be an individual mandate but anyone who didn't have insurance would be able to have insurance just as good as a member of congress under the program like the federal employee health benefits program. so those were the -- those were the issues that were discussed and the platform that the president produced during the campaign. then we had the election, i again was surprised that no bill came forward. i thought perhaps that christmas of 2008 we might see -- we might see from perhaps one of the senators or from someone on the house side, again, at least a draft or an outline or some structure of what this bill was ultimately going to resemble. and everyone came back to town for the swearing in in early
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january of 2009, we stayed for the inauguration, the inauguration occurred and i thought very quickly now we'll see structure in the health care bill. there was a great deal of difficulty with the economy. the stock market was in freefall in those days shortly after the inauguration and there was a sense of urgency to do something about the economy. i think the wrong decisions were made in february, but in all honesty i think the wrong decisions were made in september and october of 2008 when president bush put forward the economic stabilization plan secretary paulson, then secretary of the treasury, put together the plan that they proposed in late september of 2008. i thought those ideas were wrong. i thought the stimulus bill was wrong in february and in fact when you look back over this year and you look at the expenditure of political capital on that stimulus bill, had the health care bill been ready to go, had their been anything more than just rhetoric during the
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campaign and had there actually been legislative language laid down or at least legislative principles developed from which legislative language could be developed, if we had taken that health care bill up in february because of the enormous popularity that the president enjoyed in those early days after the inauguration i think that the president could have pretty much gotten whatever -- whatever he -- whatever he wanted during those early days. but the decision was made for whatever reason not to do that and to go forward with the stimulus and that's the legislation that came out of february. we also had a bit of a disconnect with the nomination for the -- the cabinet secretary's position for health and human services and the name originally put forward, in fact that individual had cleared through the senate committees that were necessary to confirm that individual. but then problems that no one could have foreseen, that individual withdrew his name from consideration and we went
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for several months without an agency head at health and human services. and i think you can see during that interval that the agency did suffer from not having someone new or anyone at the het am at that point of that organization -- helm at the point of that organization, because there was no one to be -- no name at this ain't -- at that point even to be confirmed by the senate. so it was problematic that there was not a cab nat secretary named for health and -- cabinet secretary named for health and human services and i think in fairness that did cause some of the delay on the health care front. we had, of course, as will always happen during the course of our legislative year here, we had things that happened around the world, things that happened in this country, we had a novel flu, h1n1 that came on the scene that took a lot of attention and time and discussion. we still had problems with the economy. no bill was produced during all
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this time. now, when the senate health education and labor pensions committee melt -- met in june for the first time, they began to hear and began to mark up a bill in the senate committee and that was really the first glimpse that the american people had of what this -- what this new administration and what this new congress was going to do as far as health care policy. and it was startling. it was a startingling revelation because the cost and coverage numbers that came out of the congressional budget office was some of those first passes through the health, education, labor and pensions committee. the cost and coverage numbers were startling. the cost was quite high, the coverage numbers were quite low. still leaving many people in this country uninsured and there was quite a scramble to try to adjust things, try to pull the cost down and try to bring the coverage numbers up and in fact we saw that evolve over the next several months, not just in june
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as the senate health, education, labor and pensions committee dealt with the bill but on to the summer when the committees on the house who have jurisdiction over the bill, as they dealt with the bill and then finally the senate finance committee for the last part of the bill. we saw quite a bit of maneuvering to -- and some magic numbers occurred. we got to keep the cost under $1 trillion. i think $900 billion is where everyone generally agrees they want to keep that number. and we've got, if you exclude people who are in the country without the benefit of a social security number, we've got to -- we've got to ensure -- insure a in excess of 93%, 85% are insured today. we want to get that number up to 90%, 92%, 93% for that cost of nearly $1 trillion over 10 years. so there was a -- so there was a lot of maneuvering. cost and coverage really hadn't been a discussion during the campaign of 2008. cost and coverage really wasn't
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a discussion around the time of the inauguration. the cost and coverage really stole the show during the summer time. now, that was complicated because we just had gone through a terribly, terribly difficult budget process in the house and the senate and the deficit numbers were higher than anyone ever thought possible, that anyone thought that they would ever see in their lifetime, so we were already dealing with a budget that was literally bursting at the seems -- seals -- seams and then we found a $1 trillion price tag on this bill that came out of the senate. and then for reasons that i just simply cannot explain, the leadership of the house of representatives decided in june, while all this drama was unfolding with the senate, well, we'll just do the cap and trade bill. we'll just do this energy bill and raise taxes on energy and maybe that will help us offset some of the costs of this health care bill. it was the darnedest thing i'd ever seen.
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we had marked up a bill in committee. it seemed pretty terrible to my observation during the committee process, but nevertheless we marked up a bill that was voted on in committee and then it just laid there for about a month. it was like no one wanted to touch it. people were stepping around it. no one wanted to actually address this cap and trade bill. but then suddenly it was brought to life, brought back from the dead, literally, and passed within less than a week's time here on the house floor and we passed it late in the day right before we left for the fourth of july resess, after the new shows and the new cycle was over for that weekend, we passed the cap and trade bill. i remember walking out of this house, it was a scant number of votes, there were really not a lot of excess votes that the speaker had for that cap and trade bill, and i remember walking out of here, this was not a good feeling of what the house just did. i got to tell you, when i got home to my district on saturday morning, just 12 hours later,
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the people in my district were up in arms about what the house had done. even though i had voted against the cap and trade bill, there was a lot of anxiety and in fact anger in my district because i hadn't stopped this legislation -- legislative travesty from coming forward and what in the world did congress think it was doing with passing this type of energy tax when the country was faced with this severe a recession? we just had a summer before where gasoline prices had gone through the roof, we perhaps got a little bit of relief there but it was only because the economy had faultered but at least energy prices were down and now you're going to raise taxes on energy to put us right back where we were the year before? i don't think so. so a lot of members came back here from that july recess significantly set back by what their constituents had told them during the recess over the july fourth weekend. you can just imagine, mr. speaker, watching -- walking in
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your fourth of july parade, you're somewhere behind the american legion, in front of the cub scouts, as you're walking down main street in one of the cities in your district, people are yelling at you from the side about this bill you passed and nobody read the bill, that had been all over the news and people were yelling, next time read the bill, and even adding adjectives to those. so many members of congress came back a little bit shaken by what they had encountered in their districts because of the actions they had taken. people thought no one would notice about passing a cap and trade bill late on a friday afternoon or late on a friday night right before a holiday break but the american people were engaged, the american people were paying attention. and as a consequence as we worked our way through july, remember the big plan was that we were going to take this bill up in the three house committees, my committee of energy and commerce, committee on ways and means, committee on education and labor, those three committees were going to take up identical bills, work through them, pass them out of their
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committees and then we were going to bring the health care bill to the house floor, vote on it right before the august recess, that was the plan, and then we'd all go back for the august recess, having passed this massive health care bill. well, it didn't work out like that. now, the time for the markup in committees was significantly condensed and although no, we're not supposed to talk about process too much, i will tell you, this is the type of legislation that really, yeah, it's going to take months. my understanding is i was not here in 1990 when the clean air act was passed but it's my understanding it was a months' long markup process in energy and commerce. that's the way it should be. this is complicated legislation, it's going to effect a lot of aspects and a lot of people's lives, there's really not a reason to rush this through unless you didn't want anybody to know what you were doing. and that's the impression that the american people got from this congress, that we were trying to do it fast so we could sneak something through before
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anyone really realized what had happened to them, just as we did with cap and trade. but because we did it with cap and trade, the american people said, not so fast, and you saw members begin to waiver and they wavered just enough -- wavered and they wavered just enough so that the bill did not pass out of the -- all three committees until we were right up against the august recess. the bill passed out of my committee of energy and commerce which was the final of the three committees to mark the bill up, i think we got more time than any of the other committee, some just had a single day -- committees, some just had a single day to mark up this complex legislation. we at least had several days. there were several of those days that we didn't actually work, while the democratic leadership tried to fine tune the bill and take some of the rough spots out of it. . we had an opportunity to read the bill and it passed.
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one of the myths that i should dispel is that the republicans were not involved in the process. republicans have been involved in the process from day one. number one, i was involved in the cam pain in 2008. i talked to a transition team right after the election and said health care is going to be important this year. i know something about that. i would like to be consulted as you write this legislation. i went to my chairman with the same comments. i didn't give up my medical career to stand by the side lines while congress deals with health care. i wanted to be involved in that process. we never were. we were never asked. we were never consulted. we were villified along the way that we would not offer ideas. i had 50 amendments, 50 amendments that i offered in the
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energy and commerce committee. some of them were grit amendments, but every one designed to improve what i thought was a bad bill. it was still likely to be a bad bill at the end of the process. i was likely to vote against it, but at least it would be a better bad bill as it came out of committee had it been no input. in fairness, the committee did accept several of my amendments. and several of my amendments were put in the house bill as we passed it out of committee on july 31. unfortunately, those all left the bill sometime after that when the bill went to the speaker's office to be wree written, but i appreciate the fact that the committee was willing to accept at least a few republican ideas. then the bill goes to the speaker's office. a great deal of mystery surrounding it. where is the health care bill? no one knows. are we going to get it the first of october, the middle ever
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october sm the president spoke to a joint session, had the senate and house, both sides. you may remember there was some excitement because of some debate that occurred on the floor, but the president said i welcome ideas from both sides. i want republicans to offer ideas. but when we offered ideas, sound of crickets chimping. the president said, during july, i will welcome any member to come down to the white house and go through this bill line by line. i fired a letter off, made a call to the white house, that was around the time of the beer summit. i said i don't drink beer but i will bring diet coke. but i would appreciate the opportunity to go through this line by line. never heard a word, but heard something indirectly that the white house was not interested
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in speaking with me on that subject. the president offered during that speech in the middle of september, the president said i'll sit down with anyone. the president will sit down with ahmadinejad and chavez without preconditions but not so sure about republicans. he said i'll sit down and talk with republicans about this bill. again, great many ideas to offer, mr. president. i produced a summary of the 50 amendments that i introduced into committee and many of the ideas and said let's talk about some of these ideas. again, nothing, no answer back from that. in october, i kept trying to get other information out of my committee chairman, the subcommittee chairman on ways and means, mr. stark, my subcommittee chairman, mr. pallone, when can we see a bill
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and are we going to take some time to read it and understand it? when can we see this bill? you will have plenty of time. it will be coming along at some point. maybe a few -- maybe too complicated to read. that bill left our committee july 31 in excess of 1,000 pages. we went home to our august town halls during the summer and people didn't like a 1,000-page bill. they said members of congress won't read it, you won't accept the insurance for yourself, so we don't want it either. 1,-page bill upset people. and that was a revelation for me during the summer. i thought the republicans ought to have their own bill to counteract the democratic bill. but what people were telling me, we would like you to do
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something with pre-existing conditions and increasing competition by being able to buy across state lines and see something specific about holding down health care costs by offering sensible liability reform which we don't see in this bill, these are the things that the american people wanted to see. you might argue that seven small bills might have been better than one large bill. what happened next was after that bill left our committee at 1,000-plus pages, it went over to the speaker's office and in secret with the white house participating, no republicans, i submit no back-bench democrats either, the bill comes out the end of october and it's 2,000 pages. well, 1,000-page bill upset people, a 2,000-page bill really upset people.
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we heard from constituents in my office, calling day and night, against what was going to happen next in the house with the passage of this bill as people learned more about the bill, they got more and more uncomfortable about it and what occurred next was we passed this bill on the floor of the house late on a saturday night after we had been kept up here all week and all weekend to pass this bill. it passed by a slim, slim number of votes. in fact, just a few votes changing one way or the other, and the bill would not have passed. cnn produced a poll the morning that we voted on the bill and i don't remember the precise numbers but it was approximately 26% of the american people liked the bill the way it was and wanted us to pass it it just the way it was. a larger number, perhaps 35%
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wanted major changes in the bill before it was passed. a similar number, about 25% felt that congress shouldn't even be doing this, that we we were overstepping our authority by working on health care and a smaller number were disinterested. so you had a 26% of the american people thought they people thought we were doing the right thing. many many members heard from their constituents. butple thought we were doing the right thing. many many members heard from their constituents. but undaunted, they picked it up in the senate. and let's get this bill done. and you heard it discussed in the last hour. and i told people now for several weeks, what we're doing up here has nothing to do with health care. when's the last time you heard anyone talk about a sack sin nation rate or something to
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reduce infections. we are talking about how many medicaid dollars we need to give away in louisiana in order to secure a senate vote? first one to 60 wins. and as it turns out the senate majority leader and democrats have 60 votes and were able to pass the bill right before they left on christmas eve. so santa claus may have put coal in the stocking of many americans who were expecting things to come out worth while, but he left the senate floor on christmas eve and now as our first blush back in the chambers to deal with the aftermath. what has caused the flak since then is normal process. house and senate have passed bills. the house has a different structure.
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the house has a two-year term. there are more of us in the house. we tend to be more rough and tumble than the senate but that's the way the founders designed it. there are likely to be differences between the house and senate bill. that's not a problem. the house and senate have a way of reconciling that. they get the two together in a conference committee. conferee are appointed, the conference committee meets, works out the differences. it might pass on a party-line vote and there are more democrats than republicans but they won the election and that's what elections are all about. but the conference committee is not going to happen because it's not going to happen because this debate has now become an internal debate of the democratic party. we will be continued to be blamed for obstructing this bill.
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but please understand there is nothing we can do. we lack the numbers to stop this bill. super majority in the house. 60-vote majority in the senate. all the republicans can stay together and the bill still passiones because we don't have the numbers. the arguments that are going on are in the democratic conference and it is a conference committee of the democratic conference where they are trying to work out the difference the democrats have with democrats over this bill and ignore the republicans, blame them to be sure because they are used to be obstructionists, but no republican is slowing down this bill. we can't. we would like to, but we can't. actually, there is perhaps something that might happen. we talked something about earlier sometimes events change things here in the chamber, events that happen in the country. there will be a special senate
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election in the next week's time, a week from today. there will be an election in the senate. if that senate seat were to change from democrat to republican, that would shift the balance from 60 democrats to 59 democrats. i'm, sorry, 58 democrats and two independents that vote with the democrats. but they could lose one of their votes. what happens then? can we rush this bill through before the new senator can be sworn in to stop things? i don't know. it will be interesting to see what the plansr what people try to do. but that could be a game changer that no one would have anticipated a month ago as we left out of these chambers that a senate seat that has historically been in democratic hands for years and years and
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years could possibly change. but such is the angst from what they have seen us do and because we have done so much of it in the speaker's suite of offices with the heavy hand of the white house applied at all times. the majority leader's office in the senate with the heavy hand of the white house applied at all times. why shouldn't the -- ok, fine, lock the republicans up. we lost the election. but don't lock the american people up. which brings us back to the issue of c-span and brian lamb's letter to the president. and we have heard, we heard on the news shows a couple of days ago, the multiple clips that were up on various web sites, the president saying over and over, i want this process to be open, i want the ideas to be brought in. i just ask that we do this out in the open around a big table, bring the c-span cameras in so all can see. if you're a member of congress
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would rather stand with the special irnt than with the american people, i want you to see that. mr. president, i think you got it right. i want to see that. that's the reason i filed the resolution of inquiry, because if a member of congress is going to stand with a special interest and not all special interests are republican special interests, some of them may be a union special interests on the democratic side. we heard discussion tonight by the aarp, who knows where the special interests are. the american people if know and the american people need to watch that and make those decisions for themselves. this is a big deal. the first president bush, during the campaign for president, familiarously said that the democrats are going to come to me with tears in their eyes and say, raise our taxes. and he said, and i'll turn to them and say read my lips, no
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new taxes and he walked back from that pledge, and it cost him, it cost him in the next election. cost him a lot of credibility on the republican side for a president to walk back. if you have a president who says this is going to be such an open and above-board process that i'll put the cameras in the room and you will be able to see which members are aligning with the american people and which members of congress are aligning with special interests, who is taking up with the drug companies, who is takingp with the unions or this special interest group, you will be able to see that on c-span and the president has now walked back from that pledge. . stop and think for a minute. what does c-span, what does the symbolism of c-span to the american people? people are watching tonight on c-span.
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c-span is like a window into congress. it's impartial. it doesn't have an editorial objective. it doesn't come with an agenda. sometimes it can be frighteningly boring. but at the same time it is what the american people have identified as their way to keep an eye on congress. my predecessor, the former house majority leader dick army, when he was deciding to run for congress that first time back in 1983 or 1984 said that he watched the proceedings on c-span and it troubled him and he thought he could do better. you know what? the same thing applies to me. i watched c-span from labor and delivery on the little television that the hospital provided. and i would see things happen like the house vote annan you increase in the debt limit and i'd get frustrated and upset. c-span has been a way to invite
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the american people back into the people's house and that has an important aspect -- has been an important aspect. but think back for a minute. why did c-span, why did c-span happen? it wasn't just something that got created on the eighth day because there was run out of things to do. c-span happened because of watergate. c-span happened because the watergate hearings that were held were covered 24 hours continuous live television coverage, television executives said, no one's going to watch that stuff. that's so boring. no one's going to watch that. it's like watching your grass grow. watching grass die in wintertime. but people watched. they were fascinated by the process. and as a consequence, as a consequence, the c-span cameras then came on and they have not been turned off from watergate until this day. and the american people get
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that. c-span is a none mouse with the government and good governance. so, if you're not proud enough of your work to put it out there on c-span, what have you got to hide? why have we developed the major house legislation completely in seek receipt? why have we developed the major senate legislation which now by the way is up to 2,700 pages, why have we developed that completely in secret? i say the white house was involved, we all know people from the white house were here in the capitol building the days that those bills were worked on. but since we couldn't watch it on c-span we don't know who from the white house was sitting in, what they were saying, whether they were simply standing there with their arms folded or were they participating, were they part of the give and take? hey, if you do this, we'll do this, we'll try to protect you here. we don't know. because none of that, none of that has been available to the
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american people. but the american people didn't get this. c-span is good government. c-span is good governance. c-span is sunshine on the process. sure there's capacity. anyone can tell that you. if you're able to kind of get, you know, some of the guys together in secret and work things out amongst yourselves, then you come to the house floor and say, well, here's what we think the american people want, no, it's what these guys decided by themselves behind closed doors. nobody wants that. republicans lost the majority because the then minority speaker, then minority leader, nancy pelosi, said that the republicans were crafting bills in secret with the special interest groups writing the legislation. well, guess what, folks? nothing's changed. just different special interest groups today than perhaps there were five, six or seven years ago. the way to ensure that this process is fair and above board
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is to keep the cameras on. not for republicans in the room, i think we should be in the room, by the way, that's not necessarily the key to the transparency, the key is to let the american people in the room if they choose to do so. if they're uninterested, if there are other things going on, if there are football playoffs, final four, beauty pageants, and the american people don't want to watch, so be it. they had the opportunity, they chose to do other things. no one to blame but themselves if they don't like the final product, but at least they had the option of turning on that channel and watch -- watching the proceedings. our committee hearings, our committee markup, was covered on c-span hour after hour after hour. and many would sit there and write in little twitter messages about what was going on now in the committee process. and the three people who are interested in what i sent out on a twitter feed were grateful to get that little bit of
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information, a little kerble of information, then they turn on c-span and say, sure enough, they're talking about community organizers in health clinics now. but the american people ought to have that option. and the fact that they don't, the fact that we will not give it to them then raises the question in their minds, what do we have to hide? you've got a big bill, now 2,700 pages, we don't think you're reading it, we don't think you'll take the insurance that it produces for yourself, for your families, why should we be satisfied about what you're doing to, we heard it quoted earlier, 1/6 of the american economy? why should we be satisfied that you're going to change the health care arrangement that 85% of the country says they're either satisfied or very satisfied with, why are we going to change that arrangement simply to bestow additional political power on a select group of members of congress and
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senators? because, remember, this bill has nothing to do with health care any longer. if you don't believe me, watch -- you can't watch, that's right. but remember what happened over on the senate side. this wasn't about how do we improve outcomes? this was, how do we get the outcome we want which is to pass this bill? there's something wrong with the process when you say, we can't let you read it, we can't wait, we got to do it in a hurry, and, oh, by the way, the benefits that are going to come to you off of this bill actually start in 2014, your taxes will start next week. the american people get that. that's a problem. it's a 2,700-page bill or the one in the senate was. goodness know what is it will look like, whatever happens to it, it's going to be a big bill. there's going to be a lot of legislative language. what happens to legislative language after the bill becomes
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law? the president signs it down at the white house, big signing ceremony, people from all over are gathered around him, a great day is had by all, wonderful photo op, what happens then to this signed piece of legislation now, this act that is this public law that has now been created through this very flawed process? well, it goes over to the federal agency. the department of health and human services. and there the rules and regulations are written that will dictate what happens in health care to everyone in the country, those rules will be written and they'll be written in secret as well. to be sure, there will be notes to proposed making, there will be thousands and thousands and thousands of pages generated in the federal register of the notice of proposed rule making and the rules and regulations that come out of this 2,700-page bill. i would submit that those rules and regulations will probably number in the tens of thousands of pages once it gets through
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the ggs on over at health and human services. but here's something that's kind of strange about all of that. one of the -- one of the big arbitrators of those decisions is an individual who is in charge of a part of the agency of health and human services, the center for medicare and medicaid services, c.m.s., we call it. c.m.s. has an administrator. the administrator at c.m.s. is the one going to be in charge of writing a lot of those rules and regulations. well, now who is the administrator at the center more medicare and medicaid services? let's stop and think for a minute. well, there isn't one. because a year into this administration no name has been put forward to the senate for confirmation for the administrator of the center for medicaid and medicare services and yet we're in a rush to get this bill passed. we've got to get this thing done, time's awasting, people
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are hurting. we're going to pass this legislation, it's going to go over there to an empty auditorium until that position is filled. it's not the senate that's blocking a presidential nomination. don't fall for that. there has been no name put forward in a year's time. now, do you think there's going to be a fight over that nomination in the senate? yeah, i'll bet there is. because that individual's going to hold a tremendous amount of power with a 2,700-page bill that affects every job and piddle how medicine is practiced in this country. yeah, there's going to be a pretty big fight in the senate and there should be. there's going to be a very, very powerful position. so we certainly don't want to rush someone through like we've seen with some of the other federal agency hetted -- heads in this past year and have someone in that job who doesn't fit the bill, we want someone who so -- who is competent, we
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want someone who has maybe run a delivery system at some point along the line. we want someone who has some experience in dealing with not just the creation of health care policy but the actual deliver side, putting the -- putting the meat on the bones, if i can use that analogy, for someone who has actually worked in the trenches in health care. i think that would be an enormously important first step. so, again, we don't even know who that individual is at this point. since the acting administrator left at the end of the bush administration, it has basically been filled by agency personnel he who are career bureaucrats and their ability to deal with the 2,700-page bill is anyone's guess and i'm not being critical of the department of health and human services, that's just the way it is. right now you've got people who are acting in that capacity, but they are not direct presidential appointees so there is not that -- there is not that
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accountability, there has not been advice and consent from the senate as is required under the constitution for there to be for a presidential appointment. this is not a czar, after all. this is an actual administrator of one of the agencies within the department of health and human services. so, there's a lot of moving parts yet to happen. now week of seen this bill have more than its share of near death experiences. maybe it would be the best thing if one of those near death experiences actually stuck and forced us to go back and craft something that would actually be useful for the american people. now i'm not talking about the -- delay, remember, it's 2014 before any of these good and great and wonderful programs are going to come to a town near you. there's no urgency about implementing any of the things, the great things, that have been
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talked about in conjunction with this bill. they're going to languish by thewayside. so, since we have -- by the wayside. so, since we have that gift of time, why not try to get it right? i will tell you this and i've heard people say, well, let them pass their bill and then perhaps republicans can fix it and repeal the parties they don't like. no, it doesn't work like that. it doesn't work like that. once you start collecting taxes from people for a yet to be received benefit at some point in the future, it becomes very, very difficult to roll that back. we have a lot of discussion in this house of representatives about what are the right things to do with medicare for in the future and goodness knows there's any one of us who might do things a little bit differently in setting up the medicare system if we could roll the clock back to 1965 and start over, but we can't. but we can't. we have what we have with that
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program and it becomes, as you've heard over and over again on the floor of this house, it becomes very difficult then to take big chunks of it away. we take $500 billion out of medicare. that's going to hurt some people. it's not going to be without pain for some people to do that. there are going to be constituencies that are benefited, there are going to be constituencies that are upset. such is the nature of doing those types of things. you can just imagine, if you've got the whole health care bill, and now you're trying to do that kind of major surgery on that bill after the fact, it's going to be very, very painful indeed. . it has been brought back to life and perhaps we would be better off if one of these times this bill just did not survive and and, and we went back and tried to do the right thing. i enumerated those a moment ago.
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what i heard in the town halls i did this summer and fall is we're scared what you are doing and we aren't confident. but we would like to see something done about people who, through no fault of their own, lose employer-sponsored insurance, had a tough medical diagnosis and find they are on the outside looking in and it becomes very difficult for them to get back into a condition of insurance. we would like to see some of the protections that are out there for the erisa-administered plans and would like to see those in the individual market and flexibility for cobra plans, for people who lose their employer-sponsored insurance and keep it for 18 months and bay not just your premium but the 2/3 that the employer was kicking in and just what you
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just lost your payment. that is difficult. i saw that when i was in practice, but we could allow more flexibility within the cobra plan so it didn't have to be an identical plan. it could be a plan that had a benefits package in what that person could afford. we don't know. we never had that discussion. we never had a hearing so that. we never had the opportunity to have the give and take between the right and left of what that might look like. pre-existing conditions, we talked about things like risk pools and re-insurance. maybe there is a way to do it. congressional budget office scored it. well, it is expensive, but it's a whole lot less than $1 trillion. if that's the main problem that the american people want to see fixed, why not work on that. perhaps there is some place we
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could get $25 billion without adding to the deficit and maybe that would be a legitimate use. we don't know, because we never tried and never had the hearings and never seriously addressed how do we do anything about take it all over which is what we have done with this bill. liability, congressional budget office said there is $r50 billion of savings over 10 years or more. some people said that is a drop in the bucket. maybe so. but it's a start. and it is a pretty big drop and one that we kl ill afford ignore. why don't we have those discussions and do the right thing for the american people and not just continue to protect a special interest group who may have a significant interest in keeping the liability laws the way that they are. that's a big change. it's improved things for people. it has brought more practicing
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physicians in the state. i get a lot of criticism because prices and costs have not come down. it does take time. you have to take the first step, which is liability reform before you are ever going to get any of those benefits. but costs have come down. cost of insurance has come down. number of doctors has increased. and we know the laws of supply and demand if you increase, costs are going to diminish. there will be more people who have more open appointment slots. excess capacity to fill in in clinics. so perhaps they are willing to take someone who is going to pay something out of their time or perhaps even offer it at a discount. that's the way things work. that's the way things work. instead, we've got this massive government overlay that again is going to control every aspect of
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your doctor's life, family's life, patient's life. and it's never been tested or tried. the american people are very satisfied and we're going to change it all with something no one has ever seen it and god help us if we don't like it. we polled and they said they don't like it. cnn, which tends to be very favorable to proposals by this president tends to be very favorable to big government solutions to social problems, 26% of the people polled by cnn said, hey, congress, we like what you're doing, go get them. the other 75% said slow down and do things differently or you shouldn't even be working on it at all or we don't know what you're doing and we don't care.
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only 26% endorsed the activities of this house of representatives. and that is consistent with the numbers that you see even tonight that are reported by the various reporting agencies, web sites and cable news services who report around the 55% to 58% of the american people who don't like what they see us doing with health care. that brings me back to the resolution of inquiry. it was filed on december 17. the resolution of inquiry is a tool that the minority has, or majority has in order to ask for information that they believe is being withheld from them that they need in order to make an informed legislative decision. the resolution inquire is h. res. 983 introduced on december 17, just as we left ton for the christmas break. it requires 14 legislative days
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to mature. at which time, it must be voted on in committee or discharged from the committee to the house floor, where it becomes a privileged resolution to ask that that information be delivered. now, i know we don't have the numbers to pass anything on the republican side. i know the resolution of inquiry introduced on the energy of -- committee of energies and commerce. he will ask his side to vote no and that's where it stays. but i was encouraged by newspaper articles that appeared on the day that the resolution was filed,, it appeared in one of the newspapers, up here in washington called "the hill." and in it, chairman waxman was quoted as saying and remember this resolution of inquiry was requesting documents from the
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white house that were produced in meetings last may and june when the white house invited six participants, six parties to participate in talks down at the white house. they came up with $2 trillion in savings over 10 years that they were then going to use to pay for this health care bill. those were representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, the american medical association, the american hospital association, the american insurance plans, the medical device manufacturers and the service employee international union. so you had a big group of individuals representing doctors, insurers, hospitals, medical device, pharmaceutical and union representatives who each brought something to the table to say we can give you this much in savings if you will help us with whatever. we don't know what was offered
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up by the groups that were meeting at the white house. we don't know what was offered back by the people in attendance at the white house. chairman waxman was quoted as saying, if there is such documents, get them. but i don't know if there are such documents. i think some of these things he wants are not written down and different people have different ideas of what was agreed. well, fair enough. maybe there wasn't anything written down. little hard for me to believe that a $2 trillion agreement would be reached on nothing more than a handshake. but, if indeed that's the way it went down, someone should tell me. i sent a letter to the white house september 30 talking about this very issue and asking for specifics as they came out of those meetings and as yet, have gotten no answer from the white
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house. if the answer is there are no documents and no documents produced, we did all of this $2 trillion savings just simply on a wink, a nod and a handshake, fine. just tell me that. but at the present time, you are left with situations as developed in the senate anyoneance committee when a tax was suggested on some of the hospital charges and the hospital association said wait, that wasn't part of our deal. well, if that is nt part of the deal, what was the deal. can you give us some of the details. again, as legislateors who are trying to write this legislation so it won't conflict with anything agreed to by the white house, it would make good common sense they would want to share that with us. i don't understand why that information has not been forth coming. now, this resolution was introduced on december 17, and
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beginning of february or second week of february, it will have to come to a vote in the committee. the chairman may say, nice tray try, but we aren't interested and vote it down or come to the floor as a privileged resolution. at least over that period of time, we have the opportunity to talk about this. we have the opportunity to talk about the secret deals that were struck at the white house and it ties in very much with the story that hey, everything's going go to be up and open on the c-span but don't want to let the c-span cameras into the room while we craft this legislative product and how health care is administered in this country for the next two or three ♪ e next two or three generations. that is important. but we aren't going to see what's going on. the american people understand. c-span is sunshine.
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c-span represents good government. c-span was the foil that the american people had against the excesses of a presidential administration that overstepped its bounds and brought us the spectacle of watergate. and the crumb bling of the presidency. c-span is the preventive medicine of what keeps that from happening in the future. the first president bush went back on a pledge he made one time, one time and was dealt very severely by the american people and didn't win a second term and people feel that going back on that pledge of no new taxes, it wasn't that he raised taxes but he told us he wouldn't. and now we have a president that says it will be out in the open, trust me. you'll know that. guess what, now you don't. i will tell you since there are
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no republicans in the room, there are no republicans standing with the special interest as the health care is being written because we aren't allowed in the room. we don't know what democrats are defending the insurance companies. we don't know what democrats are defending the unions or the pharmaceutical manufacturers or what democrats are defending the doctors. we don't know because we are shut out of the process. now just as republicans, and that is the american people. and that is what is so inflammatory what happened this past week in washington, d.c. a lot occurred since the house and senate went out screws before christmas. we are now back in town. we are told we have an artificial town frame of doing this before the state of the union address. it appears that the state of the union address is a little bit fluid because we don't want to schedule it on top of a new television series.
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some give and take when that will be scheduled. i thought it was the end of january but it is going to be in february. we have a senator senatorial election in in massachusetts. it may in fact change hands a week from tonight. how long will it take to get the new senator sworn in and get the new senator to town so they will be able to vote on this very important health care legislation. will it take longer if that is no longer a reliable yes vote, but becomes a problematic no vote and will it stretch out the clock so we don't seek that new senator. the american people need to pay attention to that because all of those are an important part of the process that is called health care reform that is being played out on the floor of the house and the senate. mr. speaker, you have been
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generous with the time and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for a motion. mr. burgess: i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the motion is
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burg representat >> share with you some of our observations and conclusions about the trip. with regard to the deadline of summer of 2011, i think it is
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somewhat of a problem, for both the afghans and meshes over there. in terms of our willingness to % stay. of course the afghans have had a number of experiences with of not finishing the job and there is some confusion attached to that and i think anything we can do and we tried under score what i believe is the position of the secretary of defense and state and president for that matter, that - summer of 2011 doesn't mean an automatic draw down. it's based on the conditions on the ground. everywhere we went there's clear progress. not just in kabel but down in the south as well. at a marine base in the south, we met with a lots of locals
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including a bizarre that has õsprung back to life that was shut down by the taliban as soon as a few months ago so. there's no question our expensive creating improvements. the thing i want to touch on before turns this over in more details is confusion surrounding detention policy from the top to the bottom. military, american military people we talked to, indicated some confusion operationally about what you do when you detain a terrorist. this confusion in my view, one general for example, didn't want to answer the question without turn together his lawyer that's also in the room. this operational confusion has created and straks me unnecessarily and frp'kly
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dangerously by the ad mip administration. in fact there's two standards of detention if your captured by officer that's part of nato, there's one standard, if your captured by a u.s. soldrq), not mand, there's you will that we see on full display here in the u.s. with the example of the christmas "tuárp+e be bomber being turned over, not to the military for interrogation, but to criminal courts and told to he's entitled to a lawyer s a mentalty that i think is very dangerous in the war on terror. so we see this preoccupation with prisoners rights both on foreign battlefield and here at
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home, it seems to be consuming administration in this war on terror. i think it's wrong-headed, as i've said repeatedly. guantanamo should not be closed and there's a reason we- passed military commission is that was to try these kinds of people. and to not be allowed to properly integrate and to detain without some of the concerns you might have if you were an american citizen here in the united states u'der arrest for robing a convenience store or something strikes me as a jjt way to conduct the war. i am troubled by that and i not administration will move in the direction to clear this up. i found from top to bottom, in iraq, concern among the military people about this state of confusion with regard to detention and detain meant.
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with that let me turn to the senator. >> thank you senator mcconnell. i'm no, ma'am idaho and i share senator mcconnell's concern. there was uncertainty among military personnel as to how they're required and will be in the future to deal with the handling of detainees. i wanted tz make several points. first, it was very clear the morale of troops is very high. "t#orce in afghanistan and a ve, very committed american soldiers who are doing their j job and a impressive thing i noted was where our troops moved into a region they have been successful so far the first objective of which is to clear the area of the tall pap and start asserting a long term control.
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but i think very important point to make is that morale is high. secondly, i was impressed with the quality of american personnel on the ground. not just our troops but those who are running and managing all aspects of our actions in pakistan and afghanistan from thq ambassador to the usa i.d. person. i all the way down the line. it's, i think americans can be confident and proud in the personnel on the ground there doing such a good job. the one other thing i want to comment on before i turn it over to lisa, is that there does seem to be a bit of a deficit of trust. what i mean is, both in terms of pakistan officials, as well as afghanistan officials, they - they have a concern about whether the united states is
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going to finish job. and this is creating concern in both pakistan and in afghanistan. in pakistan, as you know, a number of the senior taliban officials have moved a cross the border from afghanistan into pakistan and we need pakistan's assistance to clear them and an achieve the objective of stopping their operations. yet, pakistan, i believe is somewhat concerned about whether the united states is going to be withdrawing and just 18 months and if so, whether that, whether it's a good move on their part to energy game in trying clear the taliban which whom they don't have a current conflict. on the afghan side of the border there's similar issue. that is, as our troops clear an area then the process of holding and building area back significantly involves winning the confidence and trust of the
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people in the region and those people áhink that the united states is not going to be there in a little bit of time, and that the taliban will just move in and fill the void they have a much more difficult time making that decision to move they're loyalty offer and activity engage manager the process of maintaining the structure and control that is established by our troops and so for both reasons, there's a concern as to whether the united states is going to help move us forward and then keep the job concluded to the point where we can build up the afghan military and police forces and strengthen the situation. with that i'll turn the time - lisa i think your next. >> thank you. for the very short visit to afghanistan and to pakistan, we have had an opportunity to really meet with the military
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leade)ship and that's in both countries. general chioni, head of pakistan military as well as prime minister of pakistan and our meeting with president juan zarate. interest z karzai. it's interesting in both issues in our meeting with tt karzai he stressed very much the significance of the upcoming parliament election and the need to ensure that under the afghan constitution that process moves forward, to clearly, to clearly - define or establish the legitimacy of the afghan
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government and their processes as they move ahead. we also had an opportunity to visit the state police training center there in kabel. very important to understand the progress that is being made as afghan army is being trained up. they truly are operating at a deficit in terms of the numbers and bringing more recruits in, but what they have seen in the past several months has been remarkable in terms of the number of recruits that have come in. we met with the minister of the defense, who indicated that just in the past month, the number of recruits that they have receives has been incredible and in fact they hp+e not been able to process them quickly enough as they come forward. but i think we also need to understand that these recruits,
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as eager and energetic aj they may be, have some issues obviously, theñi - the biggest which is the late razzy rate. it's about 44 percent literacy rate. the percentage of those that are literate that are actually going to train is even lower. and then where we were in the south, the different dynamic. this is where the center of the activity is right now. this is where we're seeing more of the taliban presence and unfortunately we don't have as many police forces coming from the south as we do from the north, so there's a lot of dynamics that are at play that make it more difficult. but it was mentioned by senator crapo about the morale of the % american forces that are there.
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the morale of the civilian forces, those within the u.s., they, it's all very positive and strong. but we also saw on the afghan side, as we talked about and to the tribal leaders we met with, the district governor, governor and local tribal leader there that there is very much a desire and willingness to take this fight and have them be the ones that are in change when we walked through the bizarre in garmzer, we were with marines but those that were providing the protection for that village were all local iraqui, excuse me. afghan police force. that was who was providing the level of protection and security
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in a community that just two months before, you were not able to walk free through the streets. combination in conjunction with a growing afghan army prengs is is truly making difference. slowly but making difference indeed. >> roger wicker from mississippi. thanks for putting together a very good trip over a very short time. in pakistan and afghanistan, we had a chance to meet with the top military leadership. leader of the army in pakistan. not only the president of pakistan but the four officials that make up the defense and security establishment in a working dinner with ambassador ike energy be rhode islnberry t
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asked, will tell you the july 2011 withdrawal date is a problem. it's a problem that can be overcome !ut it's a propaganda tool for the taliban who are spreading the message that the united states may not be there to stay for the long haul and it's a propaganda tool for those people in the area, who wish us well and would like to see us fail. our officials, and the afghan officials are countering this by pointing out the statements made by the secretary of defense and by members of the administration that we're there for a long term strategic partnership. usa i.d. is there, big time. helping us after the clearing and holding to begin the
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building phase to show we want a long term strategic partnership and we're building consulates to show we don't intend to abandon afghanistan. it's a problem, certainly politically for us with the 2011 date but it can be overcome. by the same token, our generals, are good troops. they understand the chain of command. they work for the secretary of defense and president of the united states and they understand that and they're following his position with regard to captured enemy combatants. but as the my or th minority le said. when asked the question what do we do with enemy combatants the answer is confusion and uncertainty on the part of our troops and the afghan security
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forces. that's something that will have that said, i think we can overcome these two major concerns that senator mcconnell outlined. i think there's a feeling at the top level, general mcchrystal and troops we visited with both in kabel and down in squgarmzerd camp leather neck. watch the province between now and july and august of 2010. i thi'k that will tell the tale but i do think we have the right approach of clear, hold and build and sustain. and - um... rely on local security forces not only the afghan army, but the afghan
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national police and win the support of the local elders and tribal leaders. i think this is a strategy that can work and will work. there are problems we've caused in washington d.c. but i think they can be overcome. >> just to one quick thing. for those of you students of history and i know at least one person in the room who is it was said even during the american revolution our population was in loyalists a t$ird, the revolutionary s a third and other third waiting to see who would win. it's not uncommon this feeling that we sensed in afghanistan among the fence sitters to want to know, actually how this is going to come out so. i think convincing the fence
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sitters is a big part of stabilizing the country and putting it in the condition we with can leave and draw down and leave a country better than when we went in. >> would it help to convince some of them if the united states would share drone technology with tack stan? you think that would be a good idea? >> the whole policy of - you know - the whole drone policy is something that typically i'd rather notñi discuss publically. it's somewhat sensitiveçó issue% that area of the world, but itr% a technique that we've employed
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comments similar to what leader reid had said would you want them to do that? >> no matter how many different ways you ask the question. the who is going to be the in the senate is up to the democrats in the senate. >> what did you sp)q of the comments a side from the harry reed's political future p)e they similar to what senator lot said years snag >> i really said all i'm going to say on that subject. >> senator wickwicker? >> i was on statewide call in radio this morning. certainly there's a particular interest in our state because of what senator lot went through.
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the pointxd i made in the answe was accepted. having come back from being with our troops, i'm a lot more concerned frankly that senator reid is the guy that a couple of years ago said the effort in iraq was lost.  the voter office nevada will make an adjustment or judgement about that and the most blatant auction of votes with the healthcare legislation in the histo)y of the united states of america. and i think that the decision with regard to senator reid will be made by the voters of nevada. >> on health care briefly s this all but a done deal given last month? is there still opportunity to block final passage? >> we're going to do everything we can to stop the bill. it's interesting and note worthy
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that in an election in massachusetts argue wil arguabl bluest state is arguably the most. in a debate yesterday he employ fa sidesed to be the vote from keeping this monstrosity from being hoisted on the american people. the polls continue to reseed in support for the proposal. i have great hope that enough democrats will wake up and say, we should not thumb our noses at the american people and crown or cram this down their throats. it's an act of incredible arrogance. it sort of best summed up by saying we know what ought to be done. you sit down and shut up american people and let us do
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for for you. i think they get it. i think they know how unpopular this is and they know how much the american people don't want to do it, so i have some hope they'll have difficulty ramming this massive restructuring of 1/6 of our economy cutting medicare and raising a half a trillion taxes down the throats of the the american people. >> another position in washington is michael steel. we know there's consternation on capital hill and i'm wondering your concerned about his quotes of late? are you still having confidence in him to maintain his chair? >> the chairman where this one or any other chairman we've had or will have will be measured two-ways. number one, how much money did
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you raise and how many legislations did you win? that standard will be applied to this chairman as it has to others. >> you don't have concerns about him? >> he'll be jumped on how much money he raised and how much candidates did he elect? >> back on afghanistan and pakistan. what's your sense following of what needs to be done to promote economic development. administration is talking about development a lot. trade in the region? legislation? >> interesting enough, afghanistan used to be an agricultural export a'd we visited the area near the two rivers that refer tile. you typically think of the mountains but down south, in this areas along theçó rivers, it's very fertile to the extent they can get on top of the poppy problem and getting ri culture
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going, afghanistan has a chance export to it's neighbors where it did in the past. >> i would like to speak to one aspect. agriculture and how we're going to enhance economic growth.nities you think about to pomegranates or what have ve you. part of the dilemma they face is how they then move those legitimate agricultural products out of the country. when you don't have freedom of sjutáu as they currently do not, because of the corruption and the illegal check points, we can encourage them all we want to plant the right things but if you can't move it to market it's a real problem. this is again where our security forces are on the ground making difference. >> this give please an
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opportunity to come back to the london conference. i think that's largely what the london conference shared by prime minister brown is about in that regard it's important to understand the unites nations will be there and is an integral part of the overall effort in afghanistan. frankly, i think that helps us internationally in world opinions and our troops appreciate the presence of the united nations. this is also an effort of the united states. and the united kingdom, but scores of our a lies are there in one form or another pushing in the same direction. there are different roles and different guidelines coming from national government but it's important to realize that there will be a number of countries at the london conference hoping for success. one of thq things i'll add,
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there is a reconciliation and in afghanistan with former ing taliban moving back into society and moving back into being part of the government and part of the afghanistan society.ñi there's a real hope that japan has a particular interest incoming in with perhaps as much as - um... well, several $100,000,000 to help with the reconciliation and reintegration effort and i hope that's part of the success story of the london conference >> i just want to - do you think the united states andçó international community should be holding the karzai government ahead of the conference in london?
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>> the london conference is right upon us. r think we're walking arm in arm with the karzai administration. we're coordinating with regard mind with the karzai "tp"ministration that ought to part of the something in the near future. coordinating with the sar sooi administration on when the parliament elections are held. i talked to president karzai and he wants to give the afghan people an opportunity to vote and have an accurate vote count with regard to the parliament. >> about afghanistan we're in a arguments about that same? >> this is a press-conference about afghanistan and pakistan but yes, po&itically i think the american people,çó it's a % wonderful thing about our
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system. they have an opportunity to vote every two years and will have an opportunity trextremendous r ex preponderances about this administration. >> you said, sounded like he still had to convince the pakistan people you talked to he was in their interest not to have the taliban people of where they are they have a history of helping the taliban. did you see that they have some reluctant si to go against the taliban? >> i think so and i think you have to understand word taliban is not just one thing. for example the pakistan government has taken strong action already of those elements
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of the taliban active in pakistan, creating an existential threat to the pakistan government. they are taking action there. however the afghan taliban who have moved a cross the border into pakistan have, as of this point, not posted a serious threat to pakistan. their minding they're manners, if your will in pakistan using it's a sanctuary, so the request is whether pakistan will a, view that part of the taliban community as a threat in pakistan, or b, take the position it should assist the afghanistan government and americans in the coalition forces by helping to root them out. and right now, i think that one could say in one context, that the pakistan government is very much concerned about a portion
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of the taliban that are causing trouble in pakistan. they're not yet, i don't believe convinced they should take action an against the board against all taliban, particular mri those that have moved across for sanctuarys. that your question? >> been increasing evidence of the, if you want to break them into two they're certainly working together. i didn't know if in one of the u.s. goals getting pakistan to focus. >> i think that's definitely "t you're saying in the high levels you're not getting them like we have to get ready. >> i believe it's clearly one of the u.s. goals to help pakistan to understand the entirety of the taliban threat is real and to take action against the afghan taliban in pakistan. however i also believe that and i believe there's progress there. in fact it's a reality that there is a threat to pakistan
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from the afghan taliban. but i don't believe that the pakistan government has yet moved to that point and frankly, i think it's a source of some conjecture or speculation among many people as to whether they u)s& and to what extent they will begin taking action against the afghan, taliban. i agree with everything mike said and want to ad one point to the extent both pakistan and afghanistan believe we're going to be there and not begin to exit in the summer of 2011, the attractiveness of ignoring the taliban in pakistan goes down. >> earlier you said, the general you sat down with, was - had a lawyer with him to answer the question abouá the tension policy. detention policy. would you tell us who the general is and is that at all
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unusual? are- >> i'm not going to tell you who bully tell you that from all the way up and down the chain, we ask the question about this detainee issue. i think it is not in any way an over statement to say the situation is confusing to our leadership and our troops in the field. it needs to be cleared up, and with w regard to whether or not i've in the past had military leader refer to a lawyer, they've not in the past and i've been aon a number of trips over the year so is do find that unusual. thank you everyone.
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>> afp'istan lowingat province is near the capital city of kabul. david nix was in there in october a company u.s. troops they patrolled villages and worked to expand security in the area. >> prior to 2009 there wasn't much of a coalition presence here. not enough to patrol and certar'ly not enough to keep it from being taliban strong hold so for years the taliban used i as a base to launch attacks ull. base to launch attacks
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to kashgs bull. as more americans joined the coalition. there's that first wave at the beginning of the president barack obama administration and% some troops enforced the small in ten against there and so the low square low squgar grew so i have like 1500 if guys in logar. one of the districts here is, well when the army moved securiáy here they identified this most amenable district forgeting a good hold in logar and as a result this is a safest
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district. that is most american troops and most afghan troops and best security. you see a lot of off on effects as new businesses get started and people are getting back to work. the army still has security type patrol to maintain that level of security, but they have managed to create the space they need to do development work. >> we have the check point down the road. this man by the eye ra question army and iraq police. >> iraq. sorry. i misspoke. must be iraq. >> we're looking for a sorry lame elder representtive.
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so we can speak about a solar-powered generation that's supposed to come here. [translation taking place] >> at this time, it is too late to be prep presented probably - that is why if you guys come like 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning or 3:00 in the afternoon so you walk up to the little bit far, and daily mosque, there will be somebody there and ask him and he will show you the representative and introduce you to the representative.
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>> i'm sergeant coleman with u.s. forces. we're actually looking for the village representive. down the road and he said [spe iraqi] >> we wanted to walk through the village and talk to people and see if you had any complaints. travis will give you a number.
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that you can call and inform us if there's problems or anything going on in the village in general. even just a couple of months ago we came into this village and people ran into their houses and hid. that's sign of progress. they're willing to be approached by american forces now. now they'll each talk to us, so it's a plus. small victories.
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often times on patrol you'll see americans pull "this week in the d-league" club can i device they use to take these close up photographs of iraqi eye balls. it's called a kit for bio metrics. the idea is when you come across an afghan of interest. local leader or male or man of military age. certainly if you come across somebody say a taliban suspect or a local bad guy. someone else has fingered as a local troublemaker, you want to create a record of thij guy so
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that if he's ever captured or if he winds up dead, you have some sort of paper trail establishing who this guy is and where he's been. what context you've seen him, interacted with him. all this goes into various databases the coalition maintain answered the afghan government maintains. i've heard it's not one central database. some are actually local databases. >> afghanistan is extremely a lot of mountains. that's good and bad in u.s. troops. even with more forces you're talking fewer than 100,000 people in a country the size of texas no less. you can't always put an american soldier on every street corner but you want to keep an eye on
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those streetávq corners to u.s. soldiers will pick a mountain peak and build an observation point. and put night cameras and weapons and they'll sit up there and keep an eye on the area. thoáq mountains are usually inaccessible by road. they're too steep so there's only two ways to resupply your mountain aught post. preferable you wait for a helicopter. there's only so many and everybody needs them all the time and not all of them are suited for every mission. now, your choices for on. resupplying your mountain top observation post are waiting in line for a helicopter that could take weeks or carry that stuff up by and, or to do it the afghan way and carry it up by con key. here the third squadron decides to try the afghan method and
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they were going to rent a donkey to carry this 300 pound generator. nobody had the algorithm for call cue rating calculating how much a donkey could carry. so they strapped this generator to this con deon a plastic shred or put it on the donkey's back to try to get him to carry it up but you needed three donkeys for that little one so. the donkey made it ten percent well we could leave it or do it ourselfs so they picked that thing up. took them about an hour but they hauled that generato) up the mountain slope.çóxdñno carrierr
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here. op. observation post. >> how far up are we? >> $7,500 above sea level, which yeah, it's probably 1500 foot climb from the base, which isn't as bad as some areas but it's pretty steep terrain and loose gravel. you have to be caution. with our optics up here we can can monitor anything and everything. daily activities to local populations to in insurgent activities. áo explosive areas throughout the whole area. there's a few blind spots but the general is we have this place on lock down. the enemy knows where we can and cannot mop tear they're activities so it's, well i take my chances seeing 90% of the
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activity.ñi >> you want to do one round and then just follow through? >> at the come boast there's a mortar team and in addition to firing mortars when the soldiers ask for it. the mortar guys do what they call terrain denial to give them a chance to train the tactic. they send infantry to make sure there's no livestock or people and infantry pull back and they
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blow up that chunk of terrain and so it's random so the taliban from their perspective see these periodic massive displays of fire power and it is a deterrent effect on the taliban. >> fire! >> this is the safest district but logar is still dangerous by afghanistan standards. iud's are a constant threat. the roadside bombs and they tend to bury them in the middle of a dirt road so as you drive you drive right over them. in fact i u(j on patrol in october at night with some of the u.s. troops in logar and
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second truck for the convoy got blown up. no one was hurt but it turned into a big fire fight and some taliban were killed. [shooting] u i.d.'s are the biggest threat, but most of them don't actually kill anyone because the americans run a ground in these big 15 on the armored vehicles with special shaped under sides that help deflect the blast away from the occupants. that's called m rats. the everybody loves them. they're not terribly comfortable it's like riding around in a washing machine on the spin cycle but they will protect you from bombs. >> i would say in this
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district's case our threat of roadside bombs is very serious threat we take serious all the time. it's a consideration that we just - it's always at the front of our minds probably our biggest concerns. that being the biggest concern. >> how do you balance the need to protect your people with the need to continually expand the security bubble and reach out into insecure areas? >> well we're going to go wherever we want winner we want. we have all of our assets available to us. every soldier watching everything. where we walk, check our routes, remember where we go, where we've been and we watch ourselves as much as we watch the enemy and try to stay safe everywhere. we're constantly on the look out. we keep our eyes open and keep
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ourself disciplined. >> freelance david axe was embedded in logar in october and november. this is his second trip to afghanistan to watch more visit in the search box type axe. >> in a few moments. indiana representative mike pence speaks on healthcare. the federal deposit insurance corporation move as head to penalize banks with the certain compensations for executives. state the american business. and later. republican senators on the recent trip to afghanistan and
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pakistan. on "washington journal" tomorrow morning. two house members on counter intelligence and attempted bombing of a northwest airlines flight, january is a member of the intelligence committee and (202) 737-0001 presenttive pete robingstra is a representsive. from market watch they'll take your questions for plans for job creation and will discuss education with the president of the american federation of "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 am eastern. a couple of live events tomorrow morning. the first public meeting of the financial industry inquiry commission is on c-span 2. 9:00 eastern. financial causes including testimony from the head onfzce bank of america, morgan stanley.
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j.p. morgan chase and goldman sachs and house arms services committee focuses on china's military. representatives from departments the u.s. pacific command that's live on c-span 3 at 10:00 eastern. the deadline is approach together enter c-span's 2010 student cam. just create a 5-8 minute video on one of our country's greatest strengths or a challenge the country is facing and it must include c-span programming and various points of view. winning entries will be shown on c-span. don't wait. do it today. >> recently hosted a town hall
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meeting in bruf on the, indiana to discuss the meeting. this is a little less than an hour and a half. we're glad your here. it's congressman's custom to begin each meeting with an in vocation and ed schwarts from loving shepherd's ministrys is here to do the honors for us. >> all who are able and willing stand, please? our father, god it is such a privilege to come before thigh throne in prayer. we're thankful for this opportunity. we know father, we have an expressed interest in things
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that happen here on earth and in the united states and certainly in indiana. we're thankful for those in government like our congressman who have a heart for three and a heart for people and a heart for doing what's right. we pray, father, to continue to give him grace and strength every step of the way. be with him and his wife and family and protect and keep them from harm and recognize theirs things that always try to get into our lives that are spiritual and emotional. we just pray you protect him and his family. we're thankful for his heart for the military and those in the arms forced and thank full for his heart for family and pro-life and father, for those things that are going to be instrumental in the issues related to marriage. wear thankful for these things. above all god we pray thigh name be glorified and today we
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express ourselves love, esteem and respect. ? jez jesus christ's name we pray. >> remain standing with the pledge of the flag, please. >> pledge alley ga'ns[pledge o >> now you may be seated. thanks for coming out. >> i think i said this last time, but you may wonder why one of the few democrats in wells country is introducing a republican congressman but it's


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